If you journey over here you’ll see that June’s contest is now running. It’s a quiz containing fifteen questions based on my short stories. The winner gets a $100 Amazon Gift Card. All the details are over at the contest page, I won’t go into them here, so please go have a look.
This was interesting in a number of ways. Coming up with questions for your own stories is pretty weird. I’ve talked a lot on here about how I’ll often get too close to a story over the course of its being written so that I wind up losing all sense of subjectivity. When you know each character, even the minor ones, from the ground up and when you were there for the creation of every setting, it becomes very difficult to step back and get a sense of how things look as a whole. And it’s this outsider’s perspective that, in my opinion, makes the best trivia. Or to put it another way, just because something is trivial doesn’t make it trivia. I have all sorts of tiny little details stored in my head about these stories, but they wouldn’t make good questions because they’re largely irrelevant. Good trivia should make you reflect back in a new way on some larger entity as a whole. I have no idea if my questions achieve that goal, but I knew enough not to just drop in 15 questions about minutia and call it trivia. Also I was hopped up on Claratin-D and cough syrup when I made up this quiz.
Plus there was the matter of the internet to be dealt with. What might seem like a nice bit of trivia could, in fact, be the easiest thing in the world to dig up using Ctrl-F or Google. And, granted, for some of the stories I’m…shall we say…less than super-psyched about, I tended towards questions that were more searchable. Whereas the questions for some of my favorite stories I tried to make not really gettable from a quick search but require a thinking grasp of the story. I hope. The other thing about the internet is that it is always smarter than you are so we’ll see how this goes.
Anyway, this was a lot of fun and I foresee myself using this idea again in various forms.